Responsible Gaming

Holism is a bit of a catch phrase in our culture these days. Bookstores and movie theaters are full of titles about shopaholics, chocoholics, workaholics, Love addicts, TV addicts, Web addicts and the list goes on and on. And despite the cutesy books and movies to the contrary, addiction is serious, it can happen to anyone, over anything. Addiction isn’t just a chemical dependence, but can be caused by emotional dependence or unchecked habits.

On the other hand, Online gambling gets a bad rap. I told my parents I was writing game reviews and they were ready to call an intervention. Just the fact that you play isn’t a sign of trouble. But the truth is that anything we do can be done too much and that very few things are bad in moderation.

Online gambling is there for your entertainment. Casinos, game providers and online gaming magazines like this one are committed to providing that entertainment for you in a safe and healthy environment. In no way is online gambling meant to impact negatively on your life. It’s important to set a budget for your online gaming and play within that limit. And if in doubt, run through these twenty questions; try to answer as honestly as you can.

Twenty Questions

1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling? 2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy? 3. Did gambling affect your reputation? 4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling? 5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties? 6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency? 7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses? 8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more? 9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone? 10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling? 11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling? 12. Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures? 13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family? 14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned? 15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness? 16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling? 17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping? 18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble? 19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling? 20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

7+ Yes’

Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions. If your answers made you uncomfortable in any way, take a break from playing for a while. Prove to yourself that you can quit anytime.

If you want to talk further about this topic, please contact someone from one of these sites.

On-Line Gamers Anonymous - www.olganon.org Gamblers Anonymous - www.gamblersanonymous.org Gam-Anon - www.gam-anon.org 1 800 GAMBLER - www.800gambler.org National Council on Problem Gaming - www.ncpgambling.org Gambling Therapy - www.gamblingtheraphy.org

It is only a game and not worth the sacrifice of those things that are really important. As long as it stays a game, go out and have fun. And please, play responsibly.

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